Appearance of Mysterious Statue Possibly Related to 70's Dismemberment Murder

Appearance of Mysterious Statue Possibly Related to 70’s Dismemberment Murder


A mysterious statue placed quietly at a construction site has employees of a New York Library asking a lot of questions, and appealing to the public for help solving the mystery.

The director of the East Hampton Library, Dennis Fabiszak, told Patch that the strange statue was left on an old fountain in the library’s construction area sometime in the wee hours of last weekend, but they haven’t the slightest clue who it could have been or why. It’s fairly light for a statue, weighing in at about 50 lbs, and seems to be made out of red clay that has been painted over. It’s not a particularly new creation either, as at one point a piece had broken off and birds made a nest in the back. It could also be hollow.

dellapennaBut perhaps the most intriguing part of the odd find is the inscription on the back of the statue, a well worn and barely visible cursive scrawling of the words “My Wife Forever Della Penna”.


The library staff have reached out to the public via their Facebook page in an effort to see if anyone might have any clues about the disembodied gift, and one of the possible answers is certainly an eerie one.

Local man Steven Rothman pointed out that the name Della Penna matches the victim in a grisly murder that occurred just a few hours away in the 70’s, a murder that to this day has not been solved. From wikipedia:

Dolores Della Penna (December 13, 1954 – July 1972) was a 17-year-old Philadelphia schoolgirl who was tortured, gang raped, murdered by dismemberment and beheaded in the Kensington neighborhood in July 1972. Della Penna’s torso and arms were later located in Jackson Township, New Jersey, while her legs were found in neighboring Manchester Township near the border with Jackson.

Resemblance? Photo of Deborah Della Penna

Resemblance? Photo of Deborah Della Penna

The young girl’s head is believed to be located within a wall in “Turtles” former home in Tacony and the house has yet to be searched by law enforcement, and no bikers have yet been arrested in the case.

Official police reports state that Miss Della Penna was killed by drug dealers who believed that her boyfriend had stolen some of their drugs, but as the crime has remained unsolved this version of events will not be verified by law enforcement and is hotly contested.

Please note the fact that the girl’s head is still missing. The library might want to go ahead and have that statue x-rayed before they decide to put it up for display. Maybe it’s a stretch, but bodies encased in statues are nothing new. And hey, it happened on the X-Files once.

Do you have any thoughts on the strange statue left at the East Hampton Library? Could the mysterious bust be a clue in a half a century old cold case? Should the library staff get it analyzed? Chat with us on Facebook, tweet us @Whoforted, or leave a comment below and let us know what you think. If you want to pester the library staff, you can do so here.

UPDATE: Huge thanks to Raven Storm for passing along the hard to find photo of Deborah Della Penna. I have to admit, there does seem to be some resemblance between her and the statue, though it’s almost as if the bust was meant to be an older version of her. But hey, I’ve seen some bad art too. Thoughts?


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Greg Newkirk

Greg Newkirk

Editor-In-Chief at Week In Weird
Writer, adventurer, and professional monster chaser, Greg Newkirk is the founder and Editor-In-Chief of Week In Weird, Director of The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult and one-half of the prolific investigative duo Planet Weird. Learn more about Greg.
Greg Newkirk
Greg Newkirk

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Looks like the Jim Morrison bust at his grave in Paris…

Actually, I take that back…you know that the memory is the first to go after you have kids…

Quite strange. All the newspaper reports state that Ms Della Penna was a 17 yr old student, was not married and that some friends she was associated with were the ones who stole the drugs. I found one article/petition where someone identified as her cousin, Brian D’Alfonso of Philadelphia, thought that one person involved in her death had escaped justice. The petition is dated August 2010. Could this be to stir up interest in the case again? Probaly by friends/relatives upset that not all of the parties involved were prosecuted? Seems one guy who was involved got away with the… Read more »

Quite strange. Could it be that since relatives believe one person involved in her death was not brought to justice, this could stir the story up again? Even though the description on the back refers to her as a “wife”, she was 17 yrs old at the time and not married. Mistakenly identified as a person who stole some drugs from a drug dealer and viciously murdered. Five people were arrested 22 yrs after the murder after one person who was present and witnessed the crime gave testimony to the police.

How horrible, why wouldn’t they check it out just to make sure? Great article as always, Greg!

Really? Has anyone ever been arrested and proven guilty. I lived in the area and this was huge in ’72. I heard a lot of rumors but mostly BS talk regarding what happened. Was never a fan of low life Kensington. Sad about this young girl. The area was in upheaval that summer and I was 14 at the time. I shared her name and a very similar look at the time. Always heard something about the Pagans being involved. I never thought anyone was ever arrested or charged. Still an unsolved gruesome, murder today.

How wonderful it would be to find the truth of my precious cousins’ death ! It would bring so much peace to us all to see justice finally bring all those involved payable for taking my cousins life, and in such a torturous manner. ANIMALS !!!!!

She was an innocent !

Although my Uncle Ralph passed away, hes now in peace. He always said before I die I want to catch these animals. I know hes up there with my cousin Dolores and now knows the truth. The statue has nothing to do with Dolores, she was 17 and not married! I and family know who did this to her. Some like Charles ”chipper” Zimmerman, and Dennis Foley are doing life, and some like Dennis “Turtle” Perfield are dead. While another of our cousins was involved in her disgusting death! How could blood do this to their own? Investigators did not… Read more »

I was 7 when this happened,i lived around the corner from her,i remember all the police and blood drops circled in chalk,acouple pieces of jewelry also circled in chalk,they let anyone walk over the scene thats how i saw everything,i could have picked up the jewelry and they would have never im older i think back and they didnt do there job from the start.i never forgot about her,and im sorry her dad didnt get justice. They need to go in that house and get her out of there.why r they not doing it?

Her name was delores. Not Deborah